From January 1, 2013
It was great talking to you guys on Christmas. Hopefully I actually talked about relevant stuff...I can't really remember what I told you guys. There should be a letter on its way over that I took more time and thought with while writing....but the post from here to there takes quite a while. I didn't get the Christmas cards you sent until a few days after Christmas, but thanks so much they were great! Everyone was disgusted and confused by my rat tail. My response was "well the ladies back home loved it."
I got Christmas cards from the Powells and Grandma &Grandpa. Tell them I say thank you! I'll try to write them personal letters thanking them myself, but I can't guarantee I'll have the time. Also if you find the list of people who sent gave me gifts and/or cards at my farewell, could you email their names to me? I never thanked them because I was kinda stressing out the last few days.
Today is the New Year of course. The Walkers gave us all sparklers and poppers and let us use them outside. But the most fun part was when a bunch of us elders stayed up till midnight (PARTY HARD). Most of us were up packing and writing in journals anyway, but we decided to hang out in the hallway to celebrate. When the clock struck 12, I screamed "HAPPY NEW YEAR" as loud as I could. We were all scared that the president and wife might get mad, or elders who were sleeping would get mad, but no trouble. Then we got all adventurous and decided to run from the dorms upstairs, down two levels to the kitchen/cafeteria, flip over some tables (quietly) and then go back up. Someone said they heard Sister Walker's voice as we were sneaking back upstairs, so it was kind of a close call. So much adrenaline. Yolo.
On a spiritual note, these past few days have been great. We saw some Provo MTC devotional recordings, had a few guest speakers, and some testimony meetings and such. Most days have been a drag in classes and what not, but these past few days made me feel like I'm gonna miss the MTC. One of the talks by Elder Bednar inspired me for some reason to go and try praying out loud. I've never done it before, so I decided that it would be good. I told my companion I was going to the bathroom, and instead I went to a vacant room in our hall, locked the door, and tried it out. It was amazing. I prayed about some stuff I was stressing about (nothing to worry about, mom and dad) and it honestly felt like I was truly talking to Heavenly Father. And for some reason I felt like He and Jesus were both hearing my prayer. I kind of imagined them taking time out of their busy eternal schedules to hear my prayer. I reasoned that the more effort, time, and attention we put into our prayers, He will do the same when He listens to our prayers. It was a great experience.
Well, tomorrow morning nine elders and one sister will be heading to Edinburgh, Scotland. They hired a mini-bus to take us there. I hear it's about 3.5 hours or so, so I should be able to catch up on sleep and maybe a bit of study. They said that we will probably get the chance to email you from the mission home to let you know we're there.
Love you guys. Thanks for the emails. Hopefully you'll hear from me tomorrow, or the letter I sent last week will arrive soon. If not, I'll talk (email) to you next week. Just remember, "no news is good news"!
Elder Spencer Ashcraft Burt